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ASPartOfMe
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04 Apr 2019, 1:39 am

Julia is Sesame Street's first character with autism. Now we meet her family

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Now, in honor of Autism Awareness Month, Sesame Street has introduced Julia's family and launched new resources for those impacted by autism, which is approximately 1 in 59 American children, according to the CDC.

"Showcasing Julia is an incredible way to share and demonstrate how Julia shares so much in common with all children," said Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, who helped bring Julia’s family to life for Sesame Street.

"That's our main thing, is to reduce the stigma, but more importantly show the commonality that Julia shares with every child and that is, for us, a changing view of autism."

Growing Julia's world was a response to parents' and viewers' feedback, Betancourt said.

While Julia's family won't be appearing on Sesame Street just yet, the website for the show's autism initiative "Amazing in All Children" offers three new videos featuring the family, an interactive game and articles with tips for parents, families and friends.

In one video called "Starfish Hug," Julia and Samuel teach Abby Cadabby a new kind of hug because Julia doesn't like big wrap-around hugs.

Also, in response to feedback, Betancourt said, a new Sesame Street episode follows Julia as she goes for a haircut – something that many parents say is challenging for children on the spectrum.

Julia's friends Elmo, Abby Cadabby and Alan help Julia feel less scared by playing "hair salon" and pretending to be hair stylists.

The show airs Monday on HBO and PBS KIDS.


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Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


cyberdad
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05 Apr 2019, 3:19 am

OMG! I still remember the father/mother skit on sesame street from the 1970s!!

It's like watching history change before my own eyes



KikiKitty678
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18 May 2019, 12:55 pm

Julia is so adorable.